Saturday, August 15, 2015

Enjoying the Little Things

My kids ran out of toothpaste and they had mutilated their toothbrushes (how do they do that so fast?!) so we ran to CVS to get more. I grabbed one that was buy one get one free, not really paying attention to the label. The boys, however, were thrilled.

"There's THREE different toothpastes in one box!" exclaimed my oldest as if he had hit the lottery.
"Do you think they taste different?" my three year old asked.
"It says 'melon' Drew! And 'apple'! I can't read the rest. Mommy will read the rest. Which one should be yours, Drew? Or do you want to just share them? Or TRADE! We could TRADE whenever we want!"
"Yeah! Let's trade! And mix them up with lots and lots of colors. Mommy! Can we open them now?!"

I explained that we had to buy them first and they could open them when we got home. There was a big discussion about who would get what color toothbrush and how it made it very difficult that we had four toothbrushes for three kids. "It's so unfair! Who will get two!?" they bemoaned. I told them I had dibs on the toothbrush and that seemed to settle their nerves. 

They burst out of the car and said, "Mommy! Can we brush our teeth now? Even though it's not first thing in the morning?"
"Of course. You can brush your teeth as much as you want, guys." This proved to be a statement that they took to heart.

My three year old has brushed his teeth at least six times a day and he sleeps with the toothbrush and toothpaste. He even brought it to an elderly woman's house we visited this week and politely asked if he could have a stool to brush his teeth. He used it twice in 30 minutes.

They gave my daughter some toothpaste on her toothbrush while I was putting away laundry and screamed out loud cheers. "MOMMY! ROSIE KNOWS HOW TO BRUSH HER TEETH!" I walked in to see her happily munching on the toothbrush as her brothers cheered her on.

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect five bucks to bring them so much fun. I started thinking about all the things I think they need and all the places I think I should take them and I realized that it was my own baggage. The tiniest things give them great bursts of enthusiasm. If it give them huge experiences and huge presents all the time, I think I may dampen that enthusiasm for the simple things. 

I am going to try to learn from them and embrace the simple things in my life. I want to watch the way the light dances on the lake behind my house at sunset. I want to feel the softness of my daughters hair as I brush it away from her face. I want to absorb my boys' fascination of a water droplet found on a leaf or their exhilaration over the crack of a baseball bat. We are so rich if we take the time to notice.

What simple things make you feel rich in this life? Take notice today of the smells, the touches and the sounds that make you feel alive. Thank God for those gifts.

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